Among the leading health woes of aging people are cataracts and glaucoma. Both of these eye diseases can occur and worsen as people get older, leading to low vision quality, impairment, and even permanent blindness. Fortunately, there are ophthalmic solutions for them.
Surgical procedures for most eye conditions have a high success rate. However, a cataract and glaucoma specialist in Dubai says that performing such procedures earlier rather than later is always better. Firstly, it reduces the potential for severe deterioration in vision quality, as well as pain and other types of discomfort. And secondly, it often makes for a quicker procedure and recovery.
Life Downgrade Due to Cataracts and Glaucoma
It is not a rare occurrence for people with cataracts to have glaucoma as well. Therefore, the discomfort of having both eye diseases can be incredibly challenging to deal with.
Patients say that their cloudy vision created by cataracts gets worse by the day. In addition to that, the pain from glare gets seriously intense on certain (usually sunny) days. These prevent them from accomplishing even the simplest of tasks, such as eating the food in front of them.
Another impact of cataracts is the difficulty and eventual inability to distinguish colors. As for glaucoma, it’s not seeing the whole picture due to a narrowing visual field, that’s disheartening.
Perhaps, the worst impact of having cataracts or glaucoma or both is sadness and dissatisfaction with life, as well as the lack of motivation. According to some health experts, this can lead to dementia in older people.
Treatment for Cataracts
For cataracts, the treatment is to remove the clouded lens contents and replace them with an artificial one. There are different methods of going about this procedure.
In Dubai’s leading ophthalmic care provider, the advanced technique used is called phacoemulsification. This cataract surgery removes the clouded lens by making an incision of 2 to 3 millimeters near the front of the eye. Ultrasound waves are used to make cataract removal easier because the ultrasound softens the lens contents, which can become as hard as stone in an 80-year-old patient.
To ensure its success, fast execution is a must because prolonged exposure to the ultrasound waves can cause damage to the cornea. Afterward, the artificial lens called the intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the eye. The placement of the new lens may require one, a few, or (most often) no stitches.
A much newer method has been developed, though. The incisions are much smaller — just around 1 millimeter. And, from the typical 20-minute long procedure, cataract removal can be accomplished in just three minutes. However, this treatment is still mostly available in Japan, where it was developed.
No Cure for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is different from cataracts in a way that it most often progresses slowly and insidiously and can lead to irreversible blindness. Unlike cataracts, which create blurry or cloudy vision, glaucoma slowly reduces and eventually limits the field of vision severely. People with glaucoma often describe the condition as having dark patches covering their eye field of view.
Also, quite unlike cataracts, there’s no known cure for glaucoma just yet. The ophthalmic care for it is concentrated on prevention, and postponement of the eventual visual loss.
Preventing the Progression of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the result of the deterioration of the optic nerve. This can be caused by a variety of factors — one is when fluids in the eyeball are not draining well enough. This causes pressure buildup in the eyeball that leads to optic nerve damage.
Another factor is low blood flow. Eye specialists also cite oxidative stress as a contributor to the condition and its fast progression. For prevention, proper nutrition is a must. Studies reveal that foods that prevent oxidative stress can slow down or even halt the progression of glaucoma.
The most critical food component for glaucoma is hesperidin. This substance is most effective in suppressing oxidative stress on the optic nerves. Fortunately, it is present in most citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons.
Other Solutions for Eye Health
Ophthalmic care does not just come in the form of treatments. There are so many other things that you can do to reduce the rate of aging of your eyes that can lead to cataracts and glaucoma. Listed below are useful tips for eye health.
This can improve blood flow to the optic nerves as well as relieve pressure in the eyeballs. This is particularly helpful to do when you are experiencing eye strain, which creates an unfocused vision with something like a watermark on the image you are seeing.
Cover your eyes with your hands for a couple of seconds and then uncover them. Do this about five times to widen your eyes and refocus vision when you are suffering from eye fatigue or strain.
Give your eyes breaks from the smartphone and computer screen
Screen-focused activities can place great pressure or strain on the eyes. Therefore, to prevent the eyes from getting too tired, take a break every 20 minutes and defocus to at least 20 feet away (6 meters) for at least 20 seconds, while you deliberately blink hard. Lubricate your eyes with eye drops and close them for a few minutes.
The eyes are vital to your quality of life. So, take good care of yourself and make sure that if you do develop an eye condition, you’ll take immediate steps for treating it.